The First Six Steps Towards Green & Natural Living

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The First Six Steps Towards Green & Natural Living

So you want to go green (or maybe just greener). It can be hard to know where to start. After all, it might seem like anything short of moving to a commune where you weave your own clothes and make compost will never be good enough. Well, we’re here to hopefully show you that there’s a nice middle ground where you can be practical while showing Mother Earth that you care. Take a look at the first six steps you can take towards more natural living.

Educate Yourself

The First Six Steps Towards Green & Natural Living

First things first. It’s time to learn. While some things might be obvious (recycling), it’s also important to educate yourself on stuff that might be less obvious, like the effects of fast fashion or the chemicals in artificial scents. Thankfully, we live in the era of Netflix and podcasts where there is no shortage of documentaries to help you learn about what’s harming our environment and how we can make more sustainable choices. Plus a quick perusal of the internet can teach you to recognize the harmful chemicals that may be in products you use every day.

Start Small

The First Six Steps Towards Green & Natural Living

In the wake of all the new information you find, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. There are so many problems and you’re just one person, right?  Wrong. We can all do our part to make our little planet called Earth stick around a little longer. But you don’t have to do everything all at once. Choose a handful of actionable items that can be easy to stick to. Maybe you start only using reusable bags at the grocery store. Or maybe you make the switch from candles to diffusion and (cough, cough) essential oils. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s something you know you can stick with. Then you can continue to make small changes without breaking the bank or your will.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The First Six Steps Towards Green & Natural Living

We all know the phrase. But we tend to focus most of our energy on that last one: recycle. What about the other two? They do come first in the saying, so maybe it’s time to put more of our energy into reducing and reusing. A quick look at our trash can at the end of the week (or day) can give us a good idea at just how much waste we are producing. Hopefully, you’ll find ways to reduce consumption, whether it’s buying some items in bulk or spotting those things that should have made into the recycling bin, but didn’t.

Ditch the Plastic

The First Six Steps Towards Green & Natural Living

If there’s one thing that just about everybody can agree is bad for the environment, it’s plastic. Depending on what kind, it can take anywhere from 10 to 1000 years to decompose. What’s also a problem is that it often releases harmful chemicals, like BPA, as they degrade. A simple way to cut down on plastics is to eliminate the disposable items. Instead of using new plastic bags for every trip to the grocery store, invest in some quality reusable bags. Instead of unwrapping a new straw with every soda, keep a reusable one hand (they even make collapsible ones for convenient storage). And instead of plastic food storage that’s sure to stain or lose its lid, build a collection glass containers. You could even swap plastic wrap and sandwich bags for reusable beeswax wraps. There are a variety of simple ways to ditch the plastic and live the green life.

Shop Used Instead of New

The First Six Steps Towards Green & Natural Living

Did you know it takes 2700 liters of water to make one cotton t-shirt? Then think about how many new items of clothing in your closet you haven’t even worn yet (no judgment here, we’re all guilty). But maybe it’s time to consider the amount of resources and labor it takes to make new consumer products. By shopping used, you can save money, reduce waste and support a local charity while you’re at it. And if scouring your local thrift store isn’t your idea of fun, you can also check out consignment shops or online marketplaces.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

The First Six Steps Towards Green & Natural Living

A quick look into green living can tell you that it’s… well… expensive. Going full green may not be feasible for the average family. And that’s okay. But there are still many opportunities to use your purchasing power to say something. Maybe you shop cosmetics brands that don’t test on animals and use natural ingredients. Or instead of hitting up your favorite fast fashion store, you check your local thrift stores instead or shop sustainable brands. No matter what, you’ll be sure to find brands that are committed to transparency and making the world a better place.

Further Reading for Going Green

Head to our Facebook group, Safe Essential Oil Recipes (SEOR) for more amazing ways to use essential oils on your journey to greener living!


44 thoughts on “The First Six Steps Towards Green & Natural Living”

  • We recycle/reuse items often. My kids love used clothes, they get more for the same amount of $$.

  • We recycle in our home. Luckily we have curbside service that makes it easy. I’ve recently started researching how to make natural cleaners for our home. It’s fun to learn how essential oils can work towards improving our health.

  • I am very good about recycling even though it is not required in the township that we live in if you can believe that. We go out of our way to clean and sort and take our recyclables to the town. I only use my homemade cleaners and try not to buy plastic water bottles. I still think i have a long way to go and alot to learn so thank you for all the great tips!

  • Awesome article! Good information; keep em coming! Applause to PT for encouraging and providing access to greener living!

  • Thanks for the reminder. I have been doing my part to reduce waste going into the landfill. Recycle, compost, use reusable bags for shopping, no straws or plastic cups/bottles. Wish corporate America gets into the game and offer all products in bags/containers etc. that will decompose fast even if they end up in the landfill. Suggestion for PT, stop using bubble wraps and any type of plastic when you ship products to customers. Thank you.

  • Thank you Plant Therapy for all these tips. I recently stopped buying plastic water bottles and bought my family cups to put their water in on the go… I also use a cooler when I grocery shop so no more plastic bags … I make my own shampoos and soaps (also thank you to Plant Therapy) no more plastic waste!

  • I love this! I use my reusable grocery bags, buy bulk foods when I can and re-purpose glass jars to store, and I take my own cup & silicone straw when I go out for a coffee or eat out at a place where they hand out cups & straws. <3 It isn't hard to do at all!

  • Your recipes are a joy to use, and definitely helpful in cutting back toxic household and personal care products.

  • This is a great article. I was raised to recycle and I am diligent about recycling everything I can. I have recently bought reusable straws and I want to start a compost pile this spring. This article gives a lot of great tips to start living a greener life style.

  • Thank you for the information. It is easy to overlook the impact of small changes. No step in the right direction is to small.

  • Thanks for sharing this information&tips! Sometimes articles like this come across as “do it all at once” but I appreciate your approach of research, learn, start small and grow from there. Definitely makes it feel less overwhelming and doable.

  • I have been doing many of these things for years. They make good sense like recycling to keep our earth clean. Repurpose things you have or find a new home for them. I’ve collected far to many grocery bags so I give them away if I want a new one. Gardening and saving money buying used clothes or appliances can save so much money . It is also much kinder to Mother Earth.
    Thanks for a great article!

  • Thank you for this informative blog post. I just started using less plastic whenever I do my groceries and shopping. I am also now using shampoo bars and re-usable plastic containers for our food, beverage and skincare products. I am also trying to potty train my LO so we can stop buying disposable diapers.

  • Great tips for living a greener life! I LOVE the Plant Therapy Blog! There is so much to read and learn.

  • I have slowly began living green. This post is great because it absolutely states that it can be a costly endeavor to “go green”. I didn’t realize all of the components of this change and how overwhelming it can be. When you said we don’t have to change everything at once, it made a lot of sense. I am going to make changes one at a time, but I didn’t even think of some of the “sneaky” plastic- like tooth brushes!

  • Another way to go green is by creating your own self care products like a DIY hand lotion on the PT blog. Get a big jar of the evening primrose and add your favorite oils. When it’s empty, clean and reuse the jar!

  • Am building a collection of glass containers.. they are heavier to handle but easier to clean and safer to use!

  • I had no idea how much water it takes to produce a tshirt, that’s insane! I’m already a lover of second hand items but will make a conscious effort to buy more second hand shops

  • I am trying to be more expensive conscious myself! This blog was very informative 🙂 thank you

  • Great information! I totally forgot I bought reusable snack bags. I’m going to start using them tomorrow

  • When it comes to clothes, I have a better idea. Stop buying them entirely and learn to make them. You can make clothes that are just for you, fit you perfectly, and that you know you will wear until they wear out. Yes, it takes some time to learn how and it takes some money for equipment (sewing machine, scissors, etc). Fabric is expensive, especially if you get good quality. You can start off my using old clothes, sheets, and thrift store finds to practice your skills. The internet abounds with professional instruction, both paid and unpaid, even pattern drafting and design. The clothing manufacturers make sizes not designed to fit most people, they make them cheap, and they make them according to what they think you should want. They are made to last one season and then get replaced. However, you can develop a set of custom-fitted patterns for your family that will be in exactly the styles and types of garments they actually wear and that are flattering on them. You can make simple style alterations and make every garment look unique. You can make it high quality and you can make it just the way each family member likes it. I am not against buying clothes, but sewing clothing does result in a better quality and more flattering garment if you just bother to learn how. This is for men as well as women. I know of many talented male sewers. We need to stop thinking that we should replace our clothes constantly and instead rely on a single basic wardrobe that only gets replaced as needed, with an occasional fashionable item to supplement it.

  • This is one area in my life that I wish I did better! I love all these ideas and I’m happy to say that I’m practicing some of them, but I’ve a long way to go before I can say I’m living the green life!

  • Thanks for these basic tips for going ‘green’. I especially like the put your money where your mouth is one. So many people complain about things but then continue to support the worst abusers by shopping there again and again…just out of habit.

    1. It’s so darn expensive to go green. It kills me that it costs us more money to buy and use things that are from the earth. It should be the other way around, we should have to pay more for things that are processed and have lots of stuff added to it. I don’t have any children, but I cannot imagine how expensive it is for people with children to go and stay natural… it just isn’t right how much money it costs. So huge props to those who go and stay natural and find ways to budget!

    2. I wish more people would be aware of green recycling. I buy second hand clothes and appliances, i even use cloth diapers for my daughter and it’s great for her sensitive skin too. Good job plant therapy!

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